February 20th, 2017 in

|   2 comments

How Do I Find The Best Building Contractors?

There are many ways to find good quality building contractors such as by word of mouth referrals (i.e. family, friends, workmates etc.), local papers, Googling online, and much more.

But the way I suggest you do it (especially if you’re new to it all) is to use a trusted online service such as the ones listed below.

 

Keeping Track of Building Contractors Details

Before you do that, the first step is to create or use a template to capture all of the contractors contact details in one location. Having everyone’s information in one place will make it easier to find when you need to call or email them.

I’ve created a free Master Contractors template for you (the same one I’ve used in my building business) which you can download here.

Now onto the big question of how to find a contractor, I recommend you try these services below:

 

Here is a video demonstrating how to use these online services as well as running you through the Master Contractors template.

 

 

Signing Contracts: What’s The Process?

So when do you need to be talking with building contractors and obtaining quotations?

I’d suggest a minimum of two months before you plan on starting, or more if you can manage it.

Most good contractors will have at least a few months’ worth of work in front of them, and it will generally take a few weeks before they come back to you with a quotation.

 

TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND

1. Try and obtain 3 quotes so that you can compare your contractors on price but also on responsiveness.

2. During the quotation stages if they are hard to contact, don’t return calls and take a lot of chasing up for the quote – then I would be wary of using them as it’s probably how they will conduct themselves during your renovation.

3. Don’t be afraid to chase them up during the quoting stage. Sometimes a few extra reminders that you’re waiting on their price will keep you at the forefront of their mind.

4. Remember – most building contractors are generally on the tools during the day and do their quoting either at nights or on the weekends. The old phrase, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”, so don’t be afraid to follow up with them – but two reminders in my books is enough! After that, look elsewhere as they are probably not interested enough in the project.

 

Building Contractors quotations

 

GETTING IT DOWN ON PAPER

Once you have decided on a contractor and are happy with their price it’s time get an agreement down on paper.

Depending on what state or country you live in every governing authority will have different rules and regulations about what type of work licensed building contractors can carry out, and the dollar value associated with it.

Below I go through the process exactly the way I would given that I live in the state of NSW in Australia.

Over $5,000 AUD

Any work conducted over the value of $5,000 should have a small works contract in place.

These basically show the agreed price of the work, the building contractors details such as licences and insurances, the owner’s details and a place where both parties can sign off on the document.

This form can be downloaded here.

Under $5,000 AUD

If the works are under the value of $5,000 I still advise to have some sort of agreement in writing.

This should include: the price, building contractors details, anticipated start and completion dates, and any other terms and conditions you might like included such as building contractor is responsible for cleaning up their own rubbish, who will be supplying materials, will there be any damages occurred if the project is not completed in time (i.e. $100 off their price every day they are over the agreed finish date) etc, etc.

You’re welcome to download the Work Order Document that I use for yourself. Please Note: this document is not classed as legal advice, and I suggest you seek your own before entering into any agreements you may be unsure of.

 

Building Contractors tilers

 

Top 8 Building Contractors to Hire For Bathroom Renovations

Below is a quick list of which contractors (aka ‘tradies’ if you live in Australia J) you’ll need for each part of the bathroom renovation process.

BUILDER

Will help you do everything from start to finish but they tend to be on the expensive side as they literally manage the whole process. If you don’t mind running around and doing some of the work yourself then you can quickly save a fair chunk of money.

But if you’d rather not get your hands dirty and have the cash to burn, then hiring a builder is your best bet, as they’ll manage everything for you.
 

ARCHITECT

Helps you design the plans and layout for your bathroom, and to make sure everything fits into the space you have.
 

CARPENTER

Helps build the cabinets and storage space in the bathroom, making it look as professional as possible.
 

ELECTRICIAN

Handles everything from the lighting and power to heating and ventilation.
 

PAINTERS

Helps you get the place looking wonderful when you are finished with the building and design work.
 

PLUMBERS

Handles anything that involves water, making sure that bathroom fixtures, bath, shower and toilet are all working and flowing smoothly.
 

TILERS

A vital part of the process. They help you make sure that everything from drain management to overall quality of design is just right.
 

WATERPROOFER

Makes sure that the place stays nice and dry after you go for a shower, for example.

 

Ok so we’ve covered how to find building contractors, the quotations process, signing contracts, and also the type of contractors you’ll need to hire for your bathroom renovation. The next part of Stage 3: Pre Construction Stage is where we discuss setting up a construction schedule template (or project planner).

 

To recap, the 5 Stage Renovation Process will guide you through the exact steps I use as a professional builder when working on home improvement projects.

If you have any questions let me know – I’m always happy to help!

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason
 

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How to Renovate a Bathroom: The 5 Stage Process

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

Online Course Available Now

The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

GET INSTANT ACCESS TODAY

Yes, I Want to Know More!

February 22nd, 2017 in

|   1 comment

Planning a Project Timeline With a Construction Schedule Template

Using a construction schedule template to plan out your project timeline is a great way to save time.

There’s no doubt about it, lining up all your key contractors and resources is one of the most important things you can do on a renovation project. It might seem daunting if you’re not a seasoned professional, but with a little guidance, you’ll be on top of things in no time.

The construction schedule template will help you to get down the scheduling basics. Then you can adjust the details according to discussions with each one of your chosen building contractors.

 

Construction Schedule Template: 3 Reasons To Use One

Having a construction schedule template is:

  1. Another way to help project manage your renovation and plan out all the critical tasks one by one without clashes or overlap. Great for helping you think about each stage and what you’ll need to have organised when your tradies arrive on site.
  2. Great for helping you think about each stage and what you’ll need to have organised when your tradies arrive on site.
  3. Will show you the order in which most bathroom renovations will be sequenced, and this is how I would suggest going through and finding your building contractors one by one as you work down your list.

 

Below is an example of what a construction schedule template looks like (note: if you’ve enrolled in the How To Renovate A Bathroom course, all these templates are included).

 

Construction Schedule

 

And here’s a video that demonstrates how to use one.

 

 

Some of the considerations when filling out your schedule for each stage of the project are as follows.

 

1. Site Establishment

This is the stage where you should get the project set up BEFORE any contractors arrive on site. It covers things such as:

  • installing floor protection over carpets and timber floors
  • setting up skip bins for rubbish removal
  • setting up a first aid kit
  • any signage that may be needed to direct contractors
  • setting up all safety equipment on site (gloves, dust masks, glasses, etc)
  • setting up any temporary toilets if the bathroom will be out of action

 

During site establishment, I also book in my plumber and electrician. This is to make the work area safe. It’s also to perform disconnections for things such as water, gas and power so that the area is ready for demolition.

 

2. Discuss Timeframes With The Contractors

For all other items in your construction schedule template, I recommend discussing the timeframe to complete the works with the contractors.

When you engage them in the process, that way you are working within timeframes that they advise they can complete them in. So there’s no unrealistic expectations from either party.

 

Construction schedule template contractor

 

3. Avoid Scheduling Clashes

One of the main considerations is trying to avoid a clash in your schedule where two or more contractors need to work in the bathroom at the same time.

Bathrooms are generally confined spaces, and having guys working over the top of each other can be a recipe for disaster.

Depending on the scale and size of your project, you could have a plumber come in the morning and electrician after lunch. But generally speaking, I like to book them on separate days to avoid any headaches.

 

4. Keep your Schedule Up-to-Date

Another consideration is to keep your schedule current. If there are any changes such as delays or over runs with a particular section of your renovation, make sure you revise your schedule to reflect this.

Once amended make sure you contact your preceding trades and advise them of any delay well in advance so they can reschedule to fit you in at a later date. Calling a contractor one or two days before they were due to start won’t cut it!

Most good contractors will have a few months’ worth of work in front of them so it may take some shuffling on their part to fit you back in.

Finally, when you’re happy with your construction schedule, give every contractor plenty of notice on their start dates. Then book it all in and get ready to watch the magic happen!

 

That’s about it for now. I hope you can see the benefit of using this type of template to schedule in your construction work. If you have been following along and completing all the steps and advice along the way you are now ready to jump into Stage 4: Construction Stage of your project!

 

To recap, the 5 Stage Renovation Process will guide you through the exact steps I use as a professional builder when working on home improvement projects.

If you have any questions let me know – I’m always happy to help!

Enjoy your renovation.

All the best,

James Mason
 
CHECK OUT THIS BLOG POST FOR MORE: How to Renovate a Bathroom: The 5 Stage Process

 


 

LEARN HOW TO RENOVATE YOUR BATHROOM LIKE A BUILDER & SAVE $$$

Online Course Available Now

The super-simple, step-by-step process I use in my business to renovate bathrooms fast and on budget.

GET INSTANT ACCESS TODAY

Yes, I Want to Know More!